Sci Rep: Potential Therapy Can Be Used To Treat Severe Dry Eye Disease

- May 05, 2020-

In a recent study, scientists discovered a potential new treatment for diseases that cause severe dry eyes and dry mouth.

The research, led by researchers at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, was published in the recent "Scientific Reports" magazine. The work was carried out in collaboration with Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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Sjogren's syndrome causes the patient's white blood cells to attack the body's tears and salivary glands, causing severe dryness of the eyes and mouth. Dry eyes can seriously affect their vision, daily activities and quality of life.

The researchers compared eye samples from patients with this disease with samples from healthy patients. They found that abnormal expression of microRNA-744 in people with this disease regulates the occurrence of inflammation of the eye.

microRNA-744 can turn gene expression on and off. The researchers found that high levels of expression of this molecule can lead to destruction of cells in the glands and ocular surface, resulting in uncontrolled inflammation.

In a laboratory environment, researchers can reduce the level of inflammation by reducing the expression level of this molecule.

"This is the first step towards a potential new treatment. Before we develop it into a drug suitable for use by patients, more preclinical testing is required. However, our research provides the possibility of treating the disease The author of the article, Dr. Joan Ní Gabhann-Dromgoole, lecturer at the RCSI School of Pharmaceutical and Biomolecular Sciences

The researchers also found that the content of other microRNAs in the patient's cells was different compared to healthy controls. This can be used to help diagnose patients with Sjögren's Syndrome. 


Source: Potential new treatment for severe dry eye disease